IDI confirms COVID-19 claimed lives of 363 health workers

IDI confirms COVID-19 claimed lives of 363 health workers

Head of the mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association Dr Adib Khumaidi, SpOT. ANTARA/ Abdu Faisal/sh

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) revealed that 363 health workers had succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the period from March to mid-December 2020.

As of December 15, the number of medical workers dying of COVID-19 had reached 363, comprising 202 doctors, 15 dentists, and 146 nurses, according to the association’s data obtained here on Wednesday.

The doctors comprised 107 general practitioners of which four are professors; 92 specialists, seven of whom are professors; two residents; and one doctor are still under verification. They were registered at 24 IDI provincial branches and 92 district and city branches.

Based on the provinces, the highest death toll owing to the virus was recorded in East Java, with 41 doctors, two dentists, and 43 nurses; followed 31 doctors, five dentists, and 21 nurses dying in Jakarta; and 24 doctors and three nurses succumbing to the virus in North Sumatra.

Head of IDI's mitigation team Dr Adib Khumaidi, SpOT affirmed that the spike in the number of deaths of medical workers was an impact of the increased number of COVID-19 patients, both under medical treatment and asymptomatic individuals.

The simultaneous regional elections organized recently could have also potentially contributed to the increased transmission of the virulent disease.

"We called on people, regional heads, and their supporters to avoid activities that involve crowds," he emphasized.

The association has urged the elected regional heads to prioritize the handling of COVID-19 by improving preventive measures and capacity of health facilities as well as protecting medical workers.

Khumaidi cautioned that despite availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, public adherence to health protocols is still deemed crucial in the wake of the uncontrollable spread of coronavirus in the country.

A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and the high death toll among health workers should be an eye-opener and warning for people to maintain vigil and abide by the health protocols, he stressed.

Chairman of the Indonesia Dental Association (PDGI) Dr Drg Sri Hanarto Seno has appealed to the public to be heedful of oral hygiene since it is one means of avoiding the spread of COVID-19.

"In addition to increasing body immunity, we need to pay attention to teeth and mouth hygiene because the virus is mainly transmitted through oral droplets. Wear face masks both indoors and outdoors, wash hands, and maintain physical distancing," he stated.

Chairman of the Indonesian National Nurse Association (PPNI) Harif Fadhilah remarked that apart from hospital nurses dying of the disease, public health centers too recorded deaths of nurses.

"We are optimistic that the central government, local government, and health offices in the respective regions would increase protection (for health workers) at those health facilities by providing adequate number of personal protection equipment (PPE) as well as other equipment, as the number of COVID-19 cases has surged in almost all regions in Indonesia," Fadhilah stated. Related news: Vaccination can halt COVID-19 spread in Indonesia: IDI
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